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CitySquash demands a lot of our students academically. Our goal is to instill in our students a love of learning and help them get – or stay – on track to attend college. The focus is primarily homework help, reading and writing. Team members participate in Book Club, have vocabulary quizzes and regular writing assignments.
Academic staff members check in with teachers and parents regarding our students’ academic progress. CitySquash receives our students’ report cards each quarter and has a carrots and sticks system that rewards students for high grades and punishes those with low grades. In the summer, nearly every team member is enrolled in an academic course, either at CitySquash or with a partner organization.
Our third, fourth and fifth grade students meet twice a week in the CitySquash Learning Center for Book Club to read and discuss a book, build reading and writing skills, and learn new vocabulary. On the weekends, fourth and fifth graders spend at least forty-five minutes of focused study time working on homework with a tutor.
Our middle school students attend at least 3 academic sessions per week. Homework help sessions consist of an hour of focused study time working on homework with volunteer tutors and are combined with an hour or more of squash practice. Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders meet once or twice weekly in the Learning Center for Book Club, an hour and a half session in which they read and discuss a book in addition to building writing, math, and vocabulary skills.
Our high school students attend two academic sessions a week at which they spend an hour and a half of focused study time working on homework with a tutor. Ninth and tenth graders have their own hour and a half enrichment session devoted to College Prep, vocabulary, math, and seminar style readings. Eleventh and twelfth graders also have a weekly SAT prep session, and twelfth graders attend an additional college prep session to work on applications.
Located near Fordham University and CitySquash’s partner schools M.S. 45 and P.S. 205, the Learning Center has computer terminals, study carrels, a reading corner and a seminar room. CitySquashers use the Learning Center after school and on the weekends to receive additional academic tutoring and homework help, for internet access for school projects, and to utilize our computers and printers for homework.
Books read this past year during Book Club included: